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Making the Homeless Move On--We Just Don't Want Them Here

Updated on February 19, 2011

Guilty As Charged

Our community has fought the idea of having a homeless shelter in our town.  Our city council meetings have addressed the problem, and in the end each and every time, the shelter was not given proper zoning, or any other way they could come up with to block it's existence, for the council felt that a homeless shelter in town would look bad as far as the tourist trade was concerned.

My argument, that what looked worse for the tourists to see, the homeless shelter, or having to step over sleeping homeless people on the sidewalks downtown? did not go over well and was basically ignored as a sarcastic comment.

I still say that it would look better to the tourist trade here to see that our town was not ignoring the problem, but was addressing it with a shelter.  They just did not see it that way.  The police continued to arrest them for illegal camping, and for loitering, and for vagrancy.  The problem with the loitering charge as far as I was concerned was this fact.  It meant that the homeless people had to be constantly moving and walking, for if they stopped anywhere to rest, it was considered loitering.    This to me seemed unreasonable.    The vagrancy charge was dished out to any homeless person who had less than two dollars in their pocket anytime they were stopped.  This was not as unreasonable as not being able to stop anyplace, but it also was discriminatory, for chances were going to be that their last couple of bucks had been spent on a burger for lunch.

Well, as if all of that was not enough law pointed directly at them and their kind, now the city has sold the place where the homeless were camping, in our river bottom.  It was sold to a private party, and there are now signs posted everywhere that say no trespassing, violators will be prosecuted.

Now, even more than before the homeless are hauled off to jail, and now they don't even have to be camping, just walking down in the general direction of the place.  Now, even more than before we have crowds of homeless people crowded into the shopping centers, the mall, the beach, and anyplace they can think of to go for they have been pushed out of the one place they had.  Now it appears that we have even more of a problem than we ever had before. 

I feel bad for these people, for they truly have no place to go to just sit and think, to try to rest, to eat or do anything that every other human being in this town can do.  They are hopelessly poor, they still have the homeless stigma, and now feel like they are being persecuted for being who they are, and they are being pushed out of town, or they will go to jail, eventually.  Their only illegal offense really is not having a home, or the money to get a place.  They are guilty of being poor.

A Sad Situation

I think it says something (and it isn't anything good) about our society today when people can not only just walk past those less fortunate without feeling anything for them and their situation, but be able to ignore their obvious slide down hill if that were possible, from not having a home proper, to not even having a place to sit down legally.  Still, they walk past them not seeming to even see them.  Worst still is walking past them with comments like, "I'm not giving you anything, go get a job, you are just lazy, I'm not helping you get drunk, etc."

Many of these homeless people are children, kids who just have not had the help of the adults in their lives to direct them in the right direction, who do not know what to do.  Kids who have not been fortunate enough to even have an adult in their life at all.  Kids, none the less, whatever the situation, who now have society seemingly turn against them so they cling to one another trying the best they can to be safe, stay safe and not become a statistic.  It is just sad.

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  • smcopywrite profile image

    smcopywrite 

    7 years ago from all over the web

    homelessness is a horrific situation that everyone should be concerned about. why does everyone believe the homeless are not law abiding citizens and will rob or kill you?

    consider the facts. they are already in your town or you wouldnt need a shelter for them. why would they wait for a spot in a homeless shelter before doing you harm? there are more people to be afraid of that are living in your neighborhoods right now than in a shelter.

    thank you for bringing this matter to light again. i believe that some truly believe if we dont talk about it, it doesnt exist anymore. with our current economic situation there are probably more homeless now than ever before.

    nicely put together.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    I could not have said it better myself, and thanks, I am friends with many of our city's homeless people, and most of them are wonderful people who have just either lost everything, or are youngsters who never had a chance to build a life for times are hard, and unless you have some help sometimes, you just cannot succeed.

  • aguasilver profile image

    John Harper 

    7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

    Very few people have any real idea about how easy it is to become homeless, how fast the disintegration of your life can happen, and why those who become homeless do so normally, not by choice, but by circumstance.

    However, having said that, many homeless folk then realise that they simply do not fit into society, and actually have no desire to do so.

    Being homeless shows you the sickness of the society 'normal' folk live in, they recognise the petty mindedness, mean spirited, and anally retentive mindset that wants them out of 'their' space and out of sight.

    Many years ago (35 to be precise) I successfully opposed a homeless shelter in Central London, where I was in property development and sales, and was one of those smug heartless bastards who only thought of myself, but God has a sense of humour, and took me down, and down, to ground zero, when I found myself helping homeless folk in a church.

    They are precious in Gods sight:

    Matthew 25:34-36 (Amplified Bible)

    Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

    For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me,

    I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.

    Your neighbours are storing up their treasure on earth, where moth and canker will destroy it, and when they stand before Christ, they will be naked and poor and possibly end up homeless for eternity.

    I hope they read this, and reconsider their foolish/selfish positions.

    Probably the worse insult is that most of them call themselves Christians.

  • ddsurfsca profile imageAUTHOR

    deb douglas 

    7 years ago from Oxnard

    Thanks for your input, it helps to know that my opinion does not stand alone. I really feel for these people, who like I said before, quite often are merely just looking for a safe place they can stop for a while without being accused of loitering.

  • gregas profile image

    Greg Schweizer 

    7 years ago from Corona, California.

    Hi DD, I agree with Tony about the what this shows about society. There are so many reasons why these PEOPLE are homeless and in the sisuation they are in and most of the time it has something to do with politics and their loss of jobs with nowhere to turn for help. And DD, it sounds to me that Ventura, I'm assuming that's where you are talking about from your profile, cares more about the tourist than their own people. Any one of these people on this board that doesn't care could be out there and homeless at any time in this economy. Then what who would they be concerned about? GREED, my new favorite word for the condition of the world today, is where the problem is. I've always said that if I ecer won the Lotto that I would build some kind of homeless shelter system. Very good hub, and don't give up on your fight for them. That's one of the reasons they are where they are. Too many people give up. These PEOPLE just need some help. I'll shut up now. Good job DD. Greg

  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 

    7 years ago from South Africa

    I think the number of homeless people is a direct indication of the disfunctionality of society. There presence is a direct indictment of society and so a constant reminder to the po9wers that be of their failure. It's no surprise that they just want to "move them on" and not find a proper solution to the issue. It is an issue worldwide and it's not going to go away, no matter how much we try to "move them on."

    I always feel so sorry for the children in particular.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Love and peace

    Tony

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